After some drama at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) headquarters in Abuja, former Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose was taken into custody yesterday.
The anti-graft agency is questioning Fayose over the ongoing probe of the alleged diversion N4.685billion by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).
The ex-governor is being grilled over the N1.3billion and $5.377million allegedly traced to him from the N4.6 billion slush funds.
The ex-governor arrived at the EFCC office in Wuse 2, Abuja in a customised blue Tee-Shirt with the inscription “EFCC I’m here”.
He was accompanied by his lawyer Mike Ozekhome(SAN),Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike and a former Minister of Aviation Femi Fani-Kayode . There was also a small crowd of supporters, some of them wearing white T-Shirts emblazoned with “Fayose, conscience of the nation”
Fayose came in a black Lexus SUV. He was carrying a bag containing his dresses.
The crowd was shouting Fayose’s nickname, “Oshoko” and carrying placards in praise of the ex-governor. Fayose said: “I am here in line with my promise that I will be here on the 16th of October and, like I told the EFCC, they should await my arrival. This morning, they have been to my house; they cordoned off the street which I believe was unnecessary and unwarranted.
“I have promised to report; I am here now. I will be able to respond to all allegations.”
As he was going into custody, Fayose told reporters: “Nobody should be afraid of the EFCC, especially when you have nothing to hide. I have remained courageous for Nigerians and I will always be with Nigerians.”
He was quoted as telling detectives that he needed to rest, having worked hard for four years.
He also reportedly told his interrogators: “I deny all the allegations, take me to court.”
Sources said Fayose would respond to issues raised by three teams of investigators.
A source added: “He made a statement where he denied all the allegations and asked the commission to take him to court.
“So far, he has not responded to how he came about N1.3billion and $5.377million from ONSA. He has more issues to clarify; we are going to detain him.”
The source added: “There are three teams handling the allegations against the former governor. There is a special team managing his suspended trial because he had immunity as a governor; a separate team for the N4.685b ONSA fraud and the third panel probes his just completed tenure.
“Definitely, we are going to detain Fayose because he has a lot of issues to clarify.”
Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC Wilson Uwujaren merely said: “The ex-governor is undergoing interrogation.”
Speaking before Fayose entered the EFCC’s office, Wike said: “You can see that our brother has come to see the EFCC. He wrote a letter to the EFCC that he will submit himself on the 16th of October. He is going in hale and hearty; I believe the EFCC should know.
“So let Nigerians know that he came by himself to the EFCC without anybody harassing him, so that’s why I brought him here.”
Fani-Kayode said: “We came to stand with our friend. He is going in hale and hearty; we trust God he will come out this way.”
Ozekhome said Nigerians were “not in the Hobbesian state which was brutish”. “This is a country governed by law and not the rule of the thumb. There should be respect for the constitution,” the lawyer said.
OPAN disassociates self from online group called ‘OPMAN’
The Online Publishers Association of Nigeria (OPAN) wishes to disassociate itself from the group known as Online Media Practitioners Association of Nigeria, which cleverly adopts the acronym ‘OPMAN’.
This statement serves as a notice to individuals or organizations having dealings with this group, ‘OPMAN’ as our lawyers engage the Corporate Affairs Commission to address this development, OPAN said in a statement adding that it has no affiliation whatsoever with the group.
OPAN President, Austyn Ogannah, said: “Our attention has been drawn to the existence of a group which adopted a name similar to ours and goes by an acronym that is closely identical to ours.
“For the record OPAN has no affiliation with this group or its promoter(s).
“The Online Publishers Association of Nigeria (OPAN), registered at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) on 14th of November 2011, is the umbrella body for organisations and persons in the online/digital media space with a mandate to self regulate practitioners and promote responsible use of the new media in Nigeria.”
NITDA sets up team to investigate, protect Nigerians from data breach
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), today inaugurated the NITDA Data Breach Investigation Team at the Agency’s Corporate Headquarters, Abuja. The effort was aimed at safeguarding the rights, privacy and data of citizens in the country.
The Director General of NITDA, Mr Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi CCIE, while inaugurating the Team said thay, “ever since the Agency issued the Nigeria Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) on 25th January, 2019, there has been an unprecedented interest in the regulation as witnessed by the various engagements and inquiries about it”.
He further stated the objectives of the National Data Protection Regulations includes: Safeguarding the rights of citizens on data privacy; Fostering safe conduct in transactions involving the exchange of Personal Data; Enabling Nigerian businesses to be globally compliant & competitive to create jobs for eligible Nigerians.
Inuwa said that, “NITDA, as the IT sector regulator has a duty to ensure that the objectives of the regulations are being realised”. The highlight of the event was the inauguration of a 15-man committee that will investigate and checkmate any breach of the National Data Protection Regulations (NDPR).
Reps ask CBN to suspend cashless policy
The house of representatives has asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to halt the controversial cashless policy it recently re-introduced.
At plenary session on Thursday, the lower legislative chamber said the policy leads to significant decrease in credit extension by Nigerian money deposit banks.
The also said it has negative impacts on small and medium enterprises “which are clearly the engine room for growth of the economy.”
In a circular released on Tuesday, the CBN had directed all deposit money banks in the country to charge 3% processing fees for withdrawals and 2% for deposits of amounts above N500,000 for individual accounts.
Corporate account holders will be charged 5% processing fees for withdrawals and 3% for deposits of amounts above N3 million.
The directive was, however, criticised by some Nigerians for various reasons.
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